14 July 2011

Fragments...

So peaceful, so tranquil. The water was glass clear, the trees reflected around it's edges. It was like looking into a mirror. A tiny ripple would distort everything and flashes of long past memories skittered away with the ripples...

As I dropped my charge at her last day of summer school this morning, it struck me she's made very few comments about the trip she's about to embark on next week. I see nothing in her eyes, no excitement, no sense of adventure. I supposed she's resigned. This is what is going to happen. It's almost as if she's bottled it ... closed herself off. Something like this is really hard for me to see. I feel her anguish. I wish I knew how to reassure her ... everything will be all right, she will be safe, this is a good change in her life. I don't know how to reach her.

I remember when Mum and Dad moved our family from New Hampshire to Massachusetts. I was (or would turn) 12 in the fall that year. The day we were all packed up, ready to leave, all of our friends came to say their goodbyes .... I watched out the back window as we drove away .... tears rolling down my cheeks which blurred seeing their waving at me and calling well wishes. I never heard the well wishes over the hum of the motor.

I cried all the way to Massachusetts and hiccupped myself to sleep long after the tears had dried streaks on my face. I was terrified, sad, heartsick. Leaving childhood friends, the old neighborhood school, the house I grew up in ... The fear was overwhelming ... the unknown, a new house, a new school, new friends? Would I make new friends? Would they accept me?

It seemed as if Mum and Dad weren't there or were too busy to notice my anguish. I didn't know who to talk to. They were so engrossed in other things. I would never have considered talking to grandparents or an Aunt. So, like my little friend, I bottled it inside.

It's not like this trip, for my young friend, is a day trip ... which mine was all those years ago. It's a long trip, four or five days riding in a car across country, and along the way ... sleeping in a strange bed every night, and everything else that goes along with a move of this kind.

I'm not going to be by her side to share the adventure, encourage her along the way, but I want her to know, I'll only be a phone call away. If she wants to share anything at all with me, I'll be there to listen.